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Michael Jackson's Doctor Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison

Judge Michael Pastor (R) listens as Jackson family representative, attorney Brian Panish (L) speaks at the sentencing hearing of Dr. Conrad Murray, who was sentenced to the maximum four years in the death of pop star Michael Jackson in Los Angeles, Novemb

A judge in Los Angeles has sentenced Michael Jackson's personal physician to four years in prison for the 2009 death of the pop superstar.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor Tuesday handed the sentence to Dr. Conrad Murray, who was convicted earlier this month of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death. Murray, however, could serve only half his sentence due to overcrowding in California's prison system.

In issuing the sentence, the judge described Murray as a reckless physician whose actions were "a disgrace to the medical profession." Pastor also said Murray was involved in "horrible medicine" that included a sophisticated scheme to get the powerful anesthetic, propofol, for Jackson. Pastor said Murray lied repeatedly and had not shown remorse for his actions in the treatment of Jackson, who battled insomnia.

Prosecutors said Murray gave Jackson propofol, which is not approved for use as a sleep aid, and then abandoned the entertainer while he, Murray, attended to personal matters. They said the doctor put off calling for emergency help after finding Jackson unresponsive. They also said Jackson put his trust in Murray and paid for it with his life.

Murray's lawyers argued Jackson gave himself the fatal dosage without the doctor's knowledge. They said there is no proof the doctor did anything wrong. Murray did not take the stand in his defense.

Jackson died in his bedroom at his rented mansion in June 2009. Prior to his death, he had been planning a series of comeback concerts.

Apart from the criminal trial, Jackson's father has filed a wrongful death suit, accusing Murray of lying to the doctors and paramedics who tried to save the singer's life.

Additionally, a hearing is set for January on a prosecution proposal that Murray pay more than $100 million in restitution to Jackson's family.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.